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The Essence of Feeling
The time creeps on excruciatingly slowly. Every tick takes away another bleak second of my pitiful life.
My head slumps down onto the desk, hitting the shiny grey tabletop with a dull thud. My slashed hair fall across my face. It covers my features, acting as a barrier that’s protecting me from a perilous, invisible force.
I let out a grim, humourless chuckle. Protection. Ha! The world needs protecting from me, not the other way around. That’s why they’ve sent me to this mental institution. I need protection, they say. I need help so I’ll get better. Then I can enjoy the finer things in life once again.
It’s true. I do need enjoymeant. But I also need pain. I need something to feel, something that allows me to revel in sensation.
My fingers slide down the length of the table, as far as my body will allow them to. I turn my head sideways and study them. My fingernails are rough from the constant biting. The black nail polish I used to paint them is now peeling and scratched. It looks hideous.
Hideous like the red, angry scars that are imprinted on my wrists.
I can feel the clock mocking me, sardonically laughing at me, telling me what a failure I am. It only manages to highlight my depressing prospects. I am past fighting. In fact, I am past anything except looking at the table.
‘Why do you do this to yourself?’ If I had a penny for every time someone asked me that question, I’d be a millionaire. What is it that compels me to cut myself? Is it self-hatred? Anger? Low self-esteem?
They don’t know. They will never know. How can they ever comprehend that craving for pain? How can all those shrinks ever think they can ‘empathise’ with me? Empathy is understanding. Understanding is to perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of something. They understand nothing.
But I still answer all their ridiculous questions. It allows me to feel. Do you know what it’s like to live in an empty shell that is like the darkest of caves, devoid of every ray of sunlight, devoid of hope, devoid of life? Do you know what the fear is like, the fear that you’ll never manage to please the whole world?
Well, I’ll tell you. The emptiness is a terrible feeling. It captures your conscience and flushes it down the drain, leaving behind a thick skin of armour that helps absorb every cruel cut. The darkness hovers at the edge, just waiting to engulf you in its sinister wave because it wants you only for itself.
And the fear.... oh, you do not want to know about the fear. The fear that this one sense of living will be taken from you is the worst kind of pain. The fear that you’ll let down everyone who expects something from you is unimaginable. Unfeasible. Impossible.
Do I sound insane yet? Or do I sound like somebody who should be locked up?
Better yet, perhaps I sound like what I am: a disturbed cutter who has nothing left to live for.
I want to be able to laugh without trying, smile without forcing myself to and live life without hating myself. But this disease... it’s like cancer. It starts with a tiny prick and then slowly, slowly, evolves into a huge, full blown illness that you can’t control. The first prick blooms into crimson scars that become central to everything you do. A good day represses the urge. A bad day encourages me to cut.
A never ending cycle of torture.
You could use a whole range of adjectives to describe me: a broken arrow, the jagged puzzle piece, the wrong end of the stick. My arrow points to the wrong direction, my puzzle piece is sharp enough to slice glass and the broken stick leads me far, far away from sanity.
I lost all my real friends to this disease. But that’s okay because, in doing so, I thought I gained a much better, more trustworthy companion. Other people leave – this once will never go, I thought.
The only thing I never counted on was becoming addicted to it. It’s like an abusive relationship. You know that the person you’re with is wrong for you, but you keep coming back because you can’t live without them. You would rather die than lose them forever.
This pain inside of me feels as though it will never stop. Dear God, it hurts so much. I’m fragile and I’m about to break and if I let this pain overcome me again, I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold on much longer in this ocean of blood.
The urge is taking over again. To cut. To bleed. To feel.
Help me, God. Give me strength, please, just give me a tiny, infinitesimal amount of strength. I have to overcome this. I have to win this time. I have to.
Somebody once said that torture pleasure and pain define everything we are. We are constantly seeking pleasure over pain because that’s just human nature.
But, what happens when you seek pain over pleasure? What happens when that pain becomes the only type of pleasure you can ever experience?
This thing is evil. It is torture. This tormeant is agony.
But doesn't agony results in resilience?
I’ve let it win once.
I will not let it win again.